Hornets 106, Pelicans 103
Lakers 131, Cavaliers 120
Trail Blazers 119, Pistons 115
76ers 113, Heat 106
Nets 114, Jazz 106
Bulls 113, Raptors 99
Rockets 115, Wizards 97
Celtics 132, Thunder 123
Mavericks 110, Timberwolves 108
What went down
Just when we thought the Philadelphia 76ers couldn’t get more whacky, they pull off one of the most surprising wins this season.
With James Harden and Joel Embiid sitting out the second night of a back-to-back, the Sixers handled a healthy, East-leading Miami Heat.
28 PTS | 5 REB | 4 AST— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 22, 2022
as @GeorgesNiang said: "@TyreseMaxey for president!"
🎥 presented by @PALottery pic.twitter.com/MEhfzVyC1u
Tyrese Maxey took on the lead role with his super co-stars in street clothes, dropping 28 points while being a nuisance on defense. Another encouraging development for Philly was some actual bench production from another player aside from Georges Niang. Today, it was Shake Milton who saved the day with 20 points.
The Sixers improved their record to 44-27, just 2.5 games behind the 47-25 Miami Heat for the top seed in the East. With the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks also not far behind, it’s going to be interesting to see how the East shakes out with more than a couple of handful of games left.
In the play-in half of the East, the Charlotte Hornets negotiated a bit more breathing room for the ninth spot thanks to this clutch floater LaMelo Ball that put away the New Orleans Pelicans.
LaMelo Ball seals the win for the @hornets with a CLUTCH floater! pic.twitter.com/c9XdfMKwCg— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2022
Ball tallied 17 points, nine assists, and four rebounds, spoiling a pair of 25+ point outputs from New Orleans’ CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas.
The Hornets (37-35) are also just a game behind the Brooklyn Nets (38-34), who also won today.
Big time ballers
LeBron James has always made sure his returns to Cleveland were special.
Today, LeBron not only put up a triple-double of 38 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists, he also turned the clock back for his fellow Ohioans. As the great Austin Carr would exclaim, “LeBron James taking flight… at The Q!”
💥OH MY! LEBRON!— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2022
LeBron (21 PTS) is heating up on NBA League Pass: https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa pic.twitter.com/8GoMcmeOOn
Kevin Durant also had himself a day. Again playing without Kyrie Irving, Durant hung 37 points on 15-for-27 shooting on the Utah Jazz.
What he said
The winningest coach in NBA history has his mind elsewhere.
Gregg Popovich, a former US Intelligence officer, spoke about coaching while the Russian invasion of Ukraine rages on. As always, Popovich didn't mince words when speaking about a geopolitical issue.
“I’m actually glad that stuff’s on TV. When things started to come on TV about Vietnam, that’s when it changed. People didn’t know what the hell was going on in Vietnam with all the lies we were told and all the atrocities all over the place, back and forth. Here, any sane individual would be traumatized by what they’re seeing,” Popovich told reporters during shootaround yesterday.
Did you see that?
Few can retaliate directly when they get dunked on by LeBron. Kevin Love, however, is one of James’ good friends.
😂 Just a little brotherly love!— NBA (@NBA) March 22, 2022
Kevin Love gets his revenge on LeBron. pic.twitter.com/3JWq8aUlR9